Southern New Hampshire Life

Southern New Hampshire Blog by Steve Russo, Realtor

Southern New Hampshire Life - Southern New Hampshire Blog by Steve Russo, Realtor

The 2013 Deerfield Fair

This fall the Deerfield Fair will take place from Thursday September 26th through Sunday the 29th at the Deerfield fairgrounds, 34 Stage Road (State Route 43) in Deerfield.  Its hours will be: Thursday 8AM – 9PM; Friday and Saturday 8AM – 10PM; and Sunday 8AM – 7PM.

The granddaddy of aggie fairs is celebrating 137 years. Numerous livestock shows and educational 4-H programs will fill all the hours of the fair.  For entertainment, there will be strolling performers; shows by puppeteers, magicians, clowns, singers, and country bands; midway rides; the Flying Wallendas Family Circus; pig scrambles; and horse, tractor, and antique tractor pulls. Cow at a Fair

There will be competitions in over 20 broad areas, with numerous awards given for everything from handicrafts and creative writing to the more usual livestock and produce categories. Daily highlights: Thursday – the Barn Fire Trio and the All Together Now Band; Friday – the Miss Deerfield Fair Pageant; Saturday – the Heel and Toe Square Dancers; Sunday – the Annual Demolition Derby.

The Deerfield Fair Horse Show runs concurrently with the Fair.  Horses will be vying in over 175 competitions.  Click here for the horse show schedule.

Horses at a Fair

Admission: $ 10 for adults and children 13 and over; children 12 and younger, free.  Seniors admitted for $ 7 on Thursday and Friday; military with ID admitted free of charge every day.  Advance ticket purchases are just $ 8/each until September 22nd; they are available at the fairgrounds office; Radio Grove Hardware, Raymond; Candia General Store, Candia; J.R. Rosencrantz & Sons in Derry and Kensington; Deerfield Veterinary Clinic, Deerfield; and Yannis Pizza in Deerfield. Tickets may be purchased online on this webpage. Campsites are available.

You can find more information on the Deerfield Fair by clicking here.

Country Inns: The Hancock Inn

In operation since 1789, the Hancock Inn is a historic site located on the main street of a town filled with ancient buildings.  Although the original inn is over 200 years old, the guest rooms are very comfortable, with up to date air conditioning, televisions, bedding, and bathrooms – and antique furnishings and reproductions.  DSC01082

Some rooms have Rufus Porter style murals decorating the walls and gas fireplaces.  The first floor common rooms are very inviting, and the public sitting rooms on the upper floors have small refrigerators and coffee machines for use by overnight visitors.

The Inn boasts a very attractive garden in back, with tables and chairs set along the sides for individual or group relaxing.  On the front porch are rockers waiting for guests to while away a few hours as they watch the world go by.


At 33 Main Street, the Inn is in the heart of Hancock.  A walk down either side of the road will bring the visitor past 18th and 19th century homes and public buildings that have been meticulously preserved; most are on the National Register.

The Inn has a very attractive main dining room and tavern room, and serves hearty breakfasts to lodgers free of charge.  Breakfasts include eggs, pancakes, French toast, juices, fresh fruit, home-made hash and muffins, etc.  The dining rooms are open to the general public for gourmet dinners, featuring nonvegetarian and vegetarian items; the tavern menu has lighter fare.   For lunch, the Fiddleheads Cafe across from Inn makes fresh sandwiches and light meals to order.

1st Floor Common Room

The owners and their staff are very friendly, efficient, and helpful, making travelers feel at home.  They are also great resources on attractions to visit in Hancock and the surrounding towns.

For more about the Hancock Inn, visit their informative website.

Country Cuisine 7: The Bedford Village Inn

Bedford, situated as it is next to Manchester, may not appear to be “in the country,” but its residents pride themselves on its small-town New England heritage and character.  This post highlights a well established eatery in Bedford that has long been a focal point for special event and destination dining.

The Bedford Village Inn (BVI) has four choices for dining and drinking, the Dining Room, the Tavern, the Patio, and Corks wine bar.  All feature New England regional cuisine and all may draw upon BVI’s large wine cellar.

Entrance to the Dining Room at the Bedford Village Inn

The Dining Room actually consists of seven adjoining rooms, most with an atmosphere derived from the colonial era building in which they are located.  It is the most formal of the BVI restaurants, with the most extensive menu and hours.  The largest room (near the restaurant’s entrance) is often expansively decorated with holiday or seasonal décor that lends it a very festive air. The menu includes appetizers like soft shell crab, watermelon gazpacho, and foie gras; for entrees, maple du Breton pork chops, 24 oz. porterhouse steak, and house made gnocchi; and desserts like crème brulee, cheesecake, and their celebrated chocolate bag. The Dining Room is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily; on Sundays they have a brunch menu in addition to their usual fare.

The Tavern has a more relaxed atmosphere, emulating a New England tavern, with lighter meals – salads, pizzas, pasta – but one may order from the Dining Room’s menu if one so chooses. Open for lunch and dinner daily.  The outdoor Patio has the same menu and hours as the Tavern, plus Sunday morning hours when it serves the Dining Room’s breakfast menu.

The Tavern Entrance

Corks features selections from BVI’s extensive wine cellar, as well as beer and traditional bar service.   It’s a good choice for wine aficionados, as you can enjoy over twenty wines by the glass from a variety of well-respected wineries, four flight combinations highlighting distinctive growing regions, and from their cruvinet, some of the best wines available anywhere.   A large selection of cheeses, salads, pizzas, and other appetizers and entrees are available to compliment your imbibing experience. Open Tuesday through Saturday starting at 4:30.

The Bedford Village Inn is located at 3 Olde Bedford Way, off of State Route 101.  The Old Bedford Inn operates an inn and has a large function room (the “Great Hall”) in addition to its eateries.  The restaurants’ website runs to several pages.  Reservations are recommended for dinner and encouraged for other times.

Distinctive B&Bs: Stillmeadow B&B

Located in a mid-19th century building on Main Street in Hampstead is the Stillmeadow Bed and Breakfast.  Two acres of gardens adjoin the Colonial Italianate house, originally built by a newly married husband for his wife in 1850.  The B&B is now owned by Margaret and Willie Mitchell, who settled in New Hampshire from Scotland five years ago.

The Mitchells have kept their B&B as historically accurate as possible, but added a host of amenities to please the discerning traveler.  Their two suites and one room feature air conditioning, television, wifi, robes, slippers, hair dryers, and toiletries.  The suites also have mini refrigerators and recliners.

The proprietors feature local produce and farm-fresh eggs at the morning meals in the well-appointed Breakfast Room.  The parlor has a butler’s pantry with snacks and drinks for guests’ 24-hour use; coffee and tea is also always available in the Breakfast Room.  Stillmeadow is a non-smoking home; pets are not allowed.  Please contact the owners about their policy on children as guests.

Hampstead is a town well-known for the antique homes lining its Main Street and the many ponds and lakes that attract summer visitors.  The town is ideally situated in Southern New Hampshire – just a few minutes to the beach, Massachusetts, bustling Portsmouth, and the state’s largest cities, Manchester and Nashua.  Hampstead has many antique, gift, and craft shops, and a church with a Paul Revere bell.  For outdoor recreation, Hampstead boasts a 360-acre town forest and is near the 26-mile long Rockingham Recreational Trail, ideal for hiking, biking, and snowmobiling.

The Mitchells are very fond of their adopted homeland, and can ably assist visitors with information on local attractions.  For more information on Stillmeadow, please go to their website.

Distinctive B&B’s: The Little River B&B

When someone mentions Peterborough, one  thinks of the many artistic opportunities, retail shops, and historic buildings there.  A relative newcomer to Peterborough is the Little River Bed and Breakfast, an airy, attractive, and light-filled lodging option on the banks of the Nubanusit River, on quiet Union Street just outside the downtown area.  The current owners, Paula and Rob Fox, transformed an 1870’s farmhouse into a stunning B&B six years ago.

Each of the four guest rooms is individually decorated and features a Queen bed, attached private bath, and either a gas stove fireplace or river views.  The rooms also include flat screen televisions, wireless Internet, and air conditioning. There are two common rooms, the first floor living room features a wood burning fireplace and big screen television, while the second floor sunroom overlooking the river has books for guests’ use, together with comfortable chairs in which to lounge and read.  A great plus is the outdoor deck overlooking the river, which beckons guests three seasons of the year.

Breakfast at the Little River B&B

A delicious multi-course gourmet breakfast is served daily which may feature one of their signature dishes like French Baked Eggs, Summer Vegetable Strata, Blueberry Baked French Toast, or their famous homemade honey granola.  The B&B is completely non-smoking and pet-free and is not recommended for children twelve years old and younger.  Paula and Rob are very green-friendly; their B&B was designated an “Environmental Champion” by the NH Lodging and Restaurant Association.

The Sunroom

There is a multitude of cultural, recreational, and shopping opportunities available in the region. If you are at a loss about where to go, the very knowledgeable owners can furnish you with recommendations to make your stay very rewarding. More details about the Little River B&B may be found on its website.

Distinctive B&B’s: The Birchwood Inn

The Birchwood Inn on State Route 45 in Temple evokes an earlier time in New England.  The Inn, dating from 1775, has largely been preserved over the centuries and retains many original features.  As much of the building as possible has been preserved; the Inn is one of the jewels in the town’s Historic District.

Birchwood has two rooms and three suites available; all are named after old English towns by the two British-born proprietors.  The suites can each accommodate up to four people.  There are televisions, fireplaces, wifi service, window air conditioners, and private baths in each unit.  One of the suites has a king-size bed as well as a kitchenette and an additional half bath.  Many of the rooms retain their original Federal period walls and floors.  This year-round hostelry serves a hot breakfast during the week and a full English breakfast on Sundays to overnight guests.  Special diets can be accommodated.

The highlight of the public rooms is an 1825 mural that encompasses all four walls of one of the dining areas; it was painted by well-known early English-born American artist Rufus Porter, and appears to depict Temple as it was back in the early 1800’s.

In addition to the rooms for rent, the Birchwood boasts the London Tavern pub and restaurant featuring authentic English fare, with dishes such as Bangers and Mash and Steak and Ale Pie; desserts include Bread and Butter Pudding and Spotted Dick.  The London Tavern is usually open Wednesday – Saturday evenings and Sunday afternoons and evenings.

Smoking is only allowed on the porch.  Due to the age of many of the furnishings, pets and children under ten cannot be accommodated.  For more information or to make reservations, visit their website.

Distinctive B&B’s: Zahn’s Alpine Guest House

Visiting southern New Hampshire? Or looking for a weekend getaway?   Although  the area has several very comfortable hotels, why not consider staying at one of the unique bed and breakfasts in the region? This is the first in a series of articles to introduce you to some local lodging houses that will make your house hunting a truly memorable experience. The B&B’s that will be included are just a few minutes from the major cities in the area, but far away in terms of ambiance and atmosphere. Consider taking some time out from your New Hampshire experience to stay at one of these hostelries for a memorable time.  

Zahn’s Alpine Guest House was conceived twenty years ago by Bud and Anne Zahn, who used to make several buying trips to Austria, Bavaria, and the Alpine region of Italy for their import business. They enjoyed staying in small guest houses on their trips and wanted to reproduce the experience here in New England. The result is a piece of the Tirol in Mont Vernon, New Hampshire. The eight room B&B is filled with authentic Alpine furnishings, from the carpets that cover the floors to the beds and mattresses, perfect for a night’s sleep, to the artwork that adorns the walls. The focal point of the Guest House is the Stube, the common room, which houses an authentic Kachelofen, a ceramic stove that provides heat for much of Zahn’s.

Each room has its own private bath, and is equipped with Wifi, TV, and telephones. Children are encouraged; no pets. Check in and checkout times are negotiable. A discounted rate for Hampshire Hills, the local sports/fitness facility, is available to guests.   Zahn’s is located at 97 S. Main St., Mont Vernon, NH 03057; phone: 603-673-2334 or  toll free 888- 745-0051.  For rates, directions, and more information, visit Zahn’s  website.